A Call from Nature

Muhammad Rifqi Fitrianto

The wondrous view of a green hill highlighted under the sun, and the calming blue blanket spread towards the horizon that splits the boundary between earth and sky. For some people who were enchanted by nature, the view of nature itself would surely stunned them in awe. However this was not the case for me. I took everything from the nature for granted, and never once contemplated how it was so enchanting. I had never truly cared towards Mother Nature. However to say “never truly cared” might be an overstatement here. It didn’t mean that I didn’t care in a way like littering everywhere, picking or stomping over flowers, cutting trees, or polluting intentionally. I just basically ignoring nature, only considering it as something mundane and normal that I often ignored its aesthetics. Like nature was a neglected painting in the attic that was covered by a cloth. It was there, but I just didn’t think that it was worth my attention.

It was July, during the semester break. As I woke up, and had my breakfast, my aunt asked me if I wanted to come with her on a trip with my cousins. I was excited when my relatives took me to a trip, but I didn’t know specifically why. Maybe it was because I went with my relatives whom I could only meet once or twice in a year so that I wanted to spend my time while they were visiting me, or because I was just bored and if I stayed in my house, I would probably just doing nothing but “refreshing” myself from the stress of studying the fourth semester in university. Without a doubt, I agreed to join her. As I finished my breakfast and readied myself to go, I just remembered to ask my aunt where we would we go to. She told me that the destination would be Floating Market in Lembang. At first, I guessed that it would be somewhere in Bandung, like we usually did but it seemed I was wrong. I wondered what kind of place it would be as I never visited that place before. The only thing I know about that place was there was a lake or something similar and some shops near the lake.

When I thought of coming to a floating market, the first thing I could think of was the noise coming from the shopkeepers offering their stuffs and the customers bargaining with the shopkeepers, but now they did it above a canoe or boat. But when I arrived there, I thought to myself that it was more like a garden than a market. The first thing I saw when I crossed the main entrance of the Floating Market was the lake and some fountains near the lakeside. The air was fresh and it was not crowded like I expected from a market. It was truly like walking in a park, green grass alongside a pathway, and the beautiful view of the lake. Not to mention the fresh and cool air it gave makes walking here relaxing to me. The lake view was immediately used by my aunt to take a group photo. I could understand why she wanted to take a photo near the lake, as it is an uncommon experience to have photo near a lake. Although it might be common for people who lived near a lake or a regular to the Floating Market. But for people who lived in the city or the suburbs like me, who could only see cars or apartment buildings, having a trip to the nature was a rare experience.

As I walked along the pathway, and admiring the lake from the side, my cousins wanted to go canoeing in the lake. At first I backed off because I didn’t want my clothes to get wet if I happened to fall into the lake, but I finally accepted because the number of people required was not enough. It was the first time I rowed a boat, but one way or another after trying a few rows, I figured how to row a boat. However what took my attention was not the canoeing itself, but the atmosphere when I did it. It was calming. The only sound I could hear was the song from the speaker on another side of the lake and the water, either the sizzling sound from the fountain or the splash from the oars. Sometimes I just stopped rowing and just sit on my boat to listen to those sounds. For me those sounds especially the water made me calm and relaxed. Also, from the lake I could see almost the whole of Floating Market, the Japanese theme attraction, the cafeteria, even the Rainbow Garden. The Rainbow Garden especially was enchanting to my eyes. However, I could not enjoy the view forever as the boat had its rental time and it was almost time to return the boat.

The sun reached its peak as well as the temperature. The Floating Market had turned like a steam from a boiler. The heat of July mixed together with the sprinkles from the fountain, hot but a bit humid and wet. After I finished with the boat, my relatives and I went to the cafeteria, or should I say the “market”. The market was like a ball pit but change the balls with people. You could easily bump to other people and the only space you might have for yourself was around an arm length. The stalls were placed either on the boat, or just a bit on a platform. If you had seen how people play in a casino before, you might be okay buying foods and drinks here. If you never saw one, you will learn it here in the Floating Market. Trade your money with tokens or chips, buy food with those chips, and there you have your food. It was so similar with playing in a casino, the difference was you would get food or drinks instead of money.

As I finished eating my lunch with my relatives, my aunt told me that we were going to visit the main reason we went to the Floating Market. I wondered what would that be, and apparently there was a true intention for why we were coming here. Wondering would take me nowhere, so I asked my aunt what the peak of the trip was. She said to me that it was the Rainbow Garden. The colorful hill that I saw earlier was apparently our main “attraction”. Thus after we finished our lunch, we went directly to the Rainbow Garden. As soon as I crossed the entrance to Rainbow Garden, I felt that the atmosphere there was different from the lake. The fragrance from the flower went into my nose, and the myriad colors that I saw earlier now filled my line of sight. Various kinds of flowers are arranged neatly as it was greeting everyone who came to the Rainbow Garden. It appeared that not only that it greeted its guests, but also attracted them to come closer to the flowers. I was also one of the one who attracted to the flowers’ alluring color and looks. While my relatives were taking photos, I was the only one who enjoying myself with the flowers. Many things came to my mind as I was examining the flowers, such as how roses had many different colors although came from the same kind. The flowers triggered my curiosity.

As I continued to examine the flowers, I started to contemplate myself about why I had never noticed small things like flowers. I do see flowers from time to time, but for unknown reason, when I saw the flowers here in the Rainbow Garden they were interesting. Perhaps because it was arranged with the other flowers so it became more attracting. I ended up wandering alone and admiring every kind of flowers there. But as I noticed that my relatives were heading out from the Rainbow Garden, I finally came back to reality. With crossing the main entrance of the Floating Market, it marked the end of my trip there and my little contemplation world of Rainbow Garden.

My trip to the Floating Market might have started a bit plain although along the trip I could relax from time to time because of the ambience such as the water and the view of the lake. However, not only it was a refreshing trip, it was also a contemplative one. My time in Rainbow Garden made me realize the aesthetics of Mother Nature could come even from a little thing such as flowers. It made me thought about how much did I missed just by overlooking the simplest thing. As I went home, I started to appreciate nature and everything more even it was just a small object, because starting to notice the small things, I thought, could help me understand the bigger ones.

Photo by Muhammad Rifqi Fitrianto


Paksi Ghifari N


Alor, Bukit Bintang 2017. Bukit Bintang is a very famous area, located near the favorite shopping place in Kuala Lumpur. I went to Kuala Lumpur at that time to watch the 29th SeaGames, Malaysia become the host of SeaGames the biggest sports event in Southeast Asia. I went there with one of my senior and coach from West Java pencak silat team. Actually my feelings were mixed between happy and sad there, I am happy to be able to watch the Pencak Silat match there, but I am also sad because my mother was the coach for Indonesian Pencak Silat National Team, but I as her child failed at the selection to enter the national team because at PON (National Sport Week) in the previous year’s I lost.

Fortunately, Bukit Tinggi is like a painkiller for me, especially the food. The location of the Pencak Silat sports venue is at KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Convention Center), that near from Bukit Bintang, it only took us 15 minutes walk to the Pencak Silat venue. Bukit Bintang is one of the destinations for tourists both local and foreign. Fortunately, the venue of Pencak Silat is in the middle of the city and surrounded by many tourist attraction and shopping malls like Berjaya Times and Kuala Lumpur Tower. Berjaya Times the fifth largest building in the world, it has over 1,000 retail stores and 65 food outlets. Kuala Lumpur tower the popular landmark of Malaysia after Petronas twin tower at least 100 meters higher than the Twin Tower’s Skybridge and also Currently the 18th-tallest freestanding structure in the world, and many others tourist attractions that are quite pleasant. The crowd of the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan city was felt in Bukit Bintang, and that’s quite enough to treat my sadness because I did not have the opportunity to be in the national team of Indonesia in the 24th SeaGames Malaysia this year.

In Bukit Bintang, there was a street called Alor located in the behind of Bukit Bintang and it was very strategically area for those who were tired after shopping all daytime then going to Alor street was the best choice. Alor street was a very unique food destination in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it was Called the cultural heart of the city’s local cuisine. There was no modern shopping center in Alor street, which is on Alor street it was more like Malaysia in the past, the feel in here most like Braga street in Bandung. Alor Street at day and night was very different, during the day there are not many activities on Alor street, it was just like an ordinary road like other roads in Kuala Lumpur. When the night Alor street turned into a night market filled with very diverse food like Indians, Chinese, Malaysian, and many others, the road would be busy with many food stalls and restaurants. The road was closed for vehicles, Alor street could only be passed by pedestrians until the morning. That was a glimpse of the atmosphere on Alor Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was indeed a culinary attraction, precisely in the elite area of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. It was not too difficult to find Alor street, it only took about 5 minutes from the Bukit Bintang monorail train station to King Chulan. Unlike the others Bukit Bintang areas that were filled with elite and expensive shopping centers, Alor street was actually a paradise for fans of cheap food and street vendors. I stayed at Pullman Kuala Lumpur hotel for 3 days with my senior and coach, the distance from the hotel to Alor street was quite far when referring to the map, but in fact, it wasn’t. Because Bukit Bintang was filled with malls and shopping centers that are crowded for almost 24 hours, the trip from the hotel to Alor street does not feel far at all. During the day the way to the Alor street we passed through the shopping center of Bukit Bintang was crowded every day by locals and foreigners. In the evening many nightclubs that started operating around Bukit Bintang accompany my way to go to the hotel after being satisfied with a culinary tour on Alor street. Some of the culinary delights offered by Malaysia were served here, along with the sidewalks and rows of hawker stalls. On Alor street, these hawker stalls would take both sides of the road which made this road look like a night market. Alor street was not only a place for locals but foreigners like me and two of my friends, another tourist often visited here to taste for unique foods that they could not find in their country. Mostly the food offered here was from Chinese, Malaysian and Indian people because these three descendants were the most population in Malaysia. One thing that was unique in Alor street that I found out was in every restaurant or hawker stalls there must be one employee that there to be a translator for foreign tourist, which made the foreign tourists easy to order or choices food in the menu that served there.

Alor street was very popular with their unique cultural food, and the most delicious thing, in my opinion, was the musang king durians, which was mostly sold in every hawker stalls along Alor street. Yep, I am a durian connoisseur, I love this one fruit so much and the decision to visit Alor street after watching the Pencak Silat match at KLCC was a very right decision for me. Actually, my senior who suggested us to going to Alor Street after watching the match, he had traveled to many countries not only Asia but also Europe, he travels alone only to refreshing and took pictures from various places around the world. So it was not surprising if my senior really knew the area in Bukit Bintang, especially the place which was recommended for tourist and he knows what should be there. Even though I still feeling sad about the national team because I have not had the opportunity to compete in the SeaGames event to present my homeland but, the durian musang king works to me like a painkiller for my sadness. The taste of durian musang king makes my sadness disappear because the taste of durian musang king was very legit and very tasty. Durian musang king was the most delicious durian in the whole world. If someone who was a durian lover had not tasted this kind durian, then they could not be called as a true durian lover. "Prices will not lie to the quality", maybe the utterance was very well anchored to this kind of durian, because the price of durian musang king was very expensive compared to other durians such as durian XO, Montong, Mao Shan Wang, or durian Matahari. The expensive price of durian musang king was very worthy I think, because of the pleasure offered by this durian treat the person who ate this like a king.

Photo by : Benny Jurdi

Friends? : A Memoir

Kevin Mulya Tamaro180410160059

I’ve never heard of UNPAD Jatinangor before. The first I submit my registration form of SBMPTN, I thought that UNPAD is only in Dipatiukur, Bandung. Fortunately, I got in to English Literature Major. At first, I thought that the people will be the same as Jakarta or even Depok, but I had never been so wrong. I got invited by my friend who got into French Literature, to the 2016 new students group, and then one girl whose name I forgot invite me to “Sasing 2016” and I introduced myself there.

It was August 2016 that I for the first time, started to live in my dorm in Cikuda. Majority of people that lived in my dorm were seniors from 2011 to 2014 with an exception of me, my mom’s best friend son, and one kid from FISIP. I thought that the atmosphere would be awkward, but after my parents left, they invited me to room of one of theirs, and then I introduced myself. They began to introduce themselves. It was fun, I admit. They doesn’t want to be called with a honorification such as “Kang”. I ended up calling them with their first name. In the beginning, I was uncomfortable, after 1 week, I started to call them with names without hesitation. As bonding goes, we started with booze, gambling, and talking about girls.

Middle August came and I had to attend UNPAD’s University-scale orientation program, named as PRABU. One of My dorm friend told me not to attend that as he said; “alah gituan mah gapenting pin, mending mabok”. Not listening to him, I attended the first day. I met several of English Literature freshman, my old friend from Junior high school that I never expected, and made some friend there from PMK-U’s senior even though I’d rather call them as acquaintances rather as friend. Then came the second day that I could not remember more than UNPAD’s pin. After that, first semester begin.

First day of the first semester, and I was told that the orientation was not done yet. There are 3 orientation program in UNPAD. Those were “University Scale”, “Faculty Scale”, and “Major Style”. I attended the first day of “Faculty Scale”, Opera Budaya, not knowing anyone, except Aulia or Abah as we called him. I started off late, and put together with Indonesian Literature group rather than English one. I introduced myself, and became friends with some people from Indonesian Literature Major. Then came the second day of Opera Budaya. I was not late, and I was positioned with my major this time. When shalat jumat takes place, I, who is not a moslem, separated from the crowd and introduced to Cristian’s student association of literature studies, known as KBK-FIB. I had never thought of them as important before, and the story was for another day. After the gathering, we, fellow English literature freshman, was rushed to our major’s orientation, known as GATES. It was more to welcoming party rather than orientation, we were told that GATES has 3 annual meeting, and this gathering was the first meeting, and the day ended. There was the third meeting of Opera Budaya, but I couldn’t attend that because of sickness that I had. We, English freshmen 16 hang-out in the field of literature studies, beside of “Atep”. I used to bring guitar to campus to play with other freshmen, killing time while waiting for class or play dominoes with other students.

It was fun. I had a lot of friend from my major and another. I had never felt left out, just like when I was in Depok. Used to sleep over in English Sekre with my friend, hang out together, and GATES 2 felt like more bonding than ever. We started to hang in Bangku Biru where our senior hangs instead of the field. And, the second semester came.

All of the seniors in my dorm graduated on the same time. It was planned. I felt alone, with only my mom’s best friend son and that student from FISIP, who almost never came back to the dorm. My best friend left UNPAD for IPB. I started to feel lonely in the dorm. I frequently stayed at sekre rather than going back to dorm, to the point that I could even bathe in campus toilet than dorm. Then came GATES 3, I began to hear some ill-speak about me from my seniors and eventually from my own friends. I started to be uncomfortable around them, and started to limit my mouth to the point that it becomes boring to hang out with them. There was a rule in my society in Depok that you’ll never speak ill to your friend if that’s not for their own good, and from what I’ve heard, they had talked about me badly. Some seniors actually think about me as disturbance and even a public enemy of English literature. They started not inviting me when they hang-out, avoiding me as much as possible, and not even talking to me. It was my dark time. I felt lonely that it eats my emotion. Surprisingly, I asked to hang out with one of my seniors at KBK-FIB and English major, eventually becoming part of their 12 member gang with only I, him, and one of his best friend are from English Major. I met several people that behaved much same as me. We could talk all night without limiting our mouth at Cakyus. The warmth that they gave remind me of the old friend I had in Depok. Before the third semester even begun, I was determined that I will cut all ties with my old friend at English Major.

Semester 3, I finally cut all ties with them, even with my own close friend with an exception of one, who I usually contact for academics and stuff. I officially labeled as sasing murtad as people said that English major people usually only plays with their own kind. I had almost never seen in bangku biru anymore, and some of my old friend actually contacted me about my disappearance, but I had never read them. I enjoyed my new link that introduced me to people whom influential in my faculty, and they were actually different than people from English Literature, whom I saw always thought that they’re superior to others. I started not liking people on my class, and the feeling was mutual to the point that when I fall sick, they assumed that I was pretending to skip class. That icing on the cake made me retreat more from them. I hated them to the point that if they dare to talk ill in front of me, I’d beat them to a pulp. Unfortunately, it never happen as much as I wanted that to happen. Because of the assumption that they make, my closest friend that I used to have begun to lose respect on me and I couldn’t care less. My grades fell hard. Some because of my sickness, lack on information about assignments and classes, and the feeling that I hate when coming to class.

Fourth semester came. I had a lot of friend, without one of my old friend from my own major. I was left out about everything in my major, even classes. I remember one day that I even throw my phone because of some middle-term test that shared to a group of people, not informing me and some people. Then I realized what I had made. I made them, my old friend, hate me. My new friends, consist of seniors from 2013-2014, were busy with their own thesis. I was felt left out again, without friends to go to. Then I reminisced about old days with my old friends. I began to read the message that they sent me, and with the help of one of my friend, I tried to restore the friendship I once had. It was hard. I lower my own ego to even talk to them again. At first, they responded to me almost maliciously. With time given, they begin to respond to me almost nicely.

The fifth semester came to be the year. I actually got back almost half of my friend from my major. I even got the new one. For the first time in almost one year, I hang-out with them. It actually felt kind of nice. I had one of my best friend in my class, and he actually helped me with my class. It turned out that the ill-talking was only shared to some people, whom I did even consider to be exist. For now, I had my friend to back me up anytime. I am grateful that I did lose them forever. There were some of my old friend that I couldn’t reach out just yet, but considering that my time in this campus is not over yet, maybe I can ask them for a second chance.

Illustration’s made by: Adam Filzcharles, edited to monochrome

What a Fool: A Memoir

Lulu Lailiyah

My grandpa had two wives and my grandma was the latest. She once told me that her two daughters in their teenage once told her that when the first time they spent the night in their father and step-mother’s home, the older girl was having a severe stomachache yet they were just crying their hearts out quietly without waking up their father in right the next room to seek for an emergency help. “What a fool. He is their own father, is not he?” She ended the story with a fiery voice while looking at me with her sad reminiscing eyes. At that time, I agreed with grandma.

Mother had been remarried last year, in Cirebon. I remember it was on the rainy October in Jatinangor. She chose to not having me as the witness on her happy days. Everything had worked smoothly without me. The marriage preparations, ijab qabul, bought a new home and a new scooter and also moving out of our home to her new home in Cibiru. The news itself, I knew it through my relative’s Facebook post on mother’s wedding day. I needed to check the photo in that post several times to ensure myself that it was really the woman that I called mama. The shocked from that sudden news made me feel that I did not even have the right to ask her. What right I have to question her choice? At least, she said “I am sorry” when I replied “why did not you tell me?” to her “yesterday, I married” short text message. It might be best for us. All the changes happened in a span of less than one month those all felt unreal. I was cold-shoulder to mother for a month. I thought I needed a time to fully accepted her new status. Whether she was aware of it or not, I do not know.

I, at last, came to her new home in December. There was no wide yard; side yard or backyard attached to that home. There were only two bedrooms in total. One tight empty bed in a room downstairs and one-bedroom in upstairs. The upstair room was quite wide with a king size bed, a large wardrobe, and an aesthetic white dressing table; their room. The paint color of the home was plain white. The basic color paint of a new home.

There was only a single burner gas stove in the kitchen. She needed more time and effort to cook yet I could not look at the distress in her eyes even a bit. Every time I looked at the pink plate rack, I could not stop throwback at that time when my father and mother came home from the trip to buy this pink rack. It was the exact same rack. A set of the multicolored teacup, she also brought that set to her new home. A black and white wall clock from the old home, she also brought it. Again, it was the clock that she bought with father. Father said he loved the clock for the muteness of it. There was no clicking sound from the hand of the clock movement. The bedsheets that she used to use in her old bedroom, the one my father used to sleep on, she used it to cover her bed with another man. Along with the red floral huge thick blanket. The blanket was special to me. It was in one of my first memory. The blanket was so huge. With my tiny body, I loved to pretend that it was a pool of fur. I was diving or crawling with my baby sister below the blanket and bite mother and father toes. It was a warm memory yet now I could not cherish it sincerely. Along with piles of memory attached to every furniture from the old home, mother had contaminated them all. For all these grief, how could not I blame it to a certain role? How would I feeling better if I did not have the target to hate? Therefore towards mother and her new husband, I could not help but have an indifference; a resentment; a grudge I thought I should have.

One day my sister came to visit for the first time from Cirebon. She had called me before that she would come and requested me to come too. Because that day was not my off-day I just came when it was the dinner time. My sister did not join the dinner. Mother said she was tired from the four hours trip. I directly came to the bedroom rather join the dinner; I had eaten before. My sister was asleep. In the queen size bed, she looked so small. I touched her shoulder to ensure that she was asleep. Taking up the fallen blanket on the floor, I wrapped the blanket until my sister’s chin. It had been two months since we talked. She lived on a school board. To be able to talk to her, I should come to her school. Yet I was too occupied with the activities in college to come to her school in Cirebon. When I saw her tonight, I did not know that she became thinner. I planned to ask her out; visiting Jatinangor and stroll around. After finished the night routine and checked my handphone. I went to sleep beside my sister.

In my sleep, I felt my back was touched. I opened my eyes immediately then flipped my back to check. It was my sister.

“Sister, can you wake Mama up, please? I am so sick.” Gripping my hand tightly, weeping quietly, she was begging to me with a very pitiful murmur. I held her hand. It was cold. I panicked.

“What happened, sister?” I gripped her shoulders and whispered.

“I do not know. Hot.” She felt hot rather the cold. I had checked her neck, sole of foot and forehead; cold. I rushed got out from the bed then went to the right corner of the room. Opened the large cupboard, I was digging out the lower section in a hurry. One blanket, two blankets, three blankets, one towel, two pairs of socks, one wool jacket, I brought out them all in a hurry and put it right on the bed.

“Please, call mama for me.” With the white from the wall and the bedsheet, the darkroom was lightened up. I was able to see her miserable eyes begging me to call mother.

“For what? Be quiet. Just sleep.” I firmly declined. Would she able to relieve my sister’s pain? I neglected her weeping then continued to check her temperature.

I tried to warm her up by piled three thick blankets up on her body. Her feet had been covered with two socks smeared with cajeput oil beforehand. The night was so quiet; I wished the heavy rain and the turbulent thunder had not stopped so I could not hear her gritting teeth and childish weeping. I went to the kitchen to warm up a cup of honey water; avoiding her. Helpless, confused, desperate; I could not hold my tears back any longer. What should I do? Looking up to the stair; wake mother up would be the best option right now, I thought. She always knew what to do in the difficult situation. I realized there was a hesitancy in my heart when I tried to step up. Mother was with another person; he was a stranger to me. It had never been this clear before. Wiped my tears I poured the honey water to a cup and back to my sister. The door was just covered by a golden curtain. I came in.

“Have you called mama?” She turned her head to me and asked with her hoarse voice. Those eyes; full of hope.

“Can you endure it a little more? We can not wake Mama up. She must be sleeping right now. It is 23.00 o’clock.” I avoided her begging eyes. The pain that she felt, I hoped I was able to relieve it a little; I hoped by hugging her the pain was transferred to me. But it was not. On this queen size spring bed, we lay down side by side. I embraced her shoulders and weeping along with her whimper cries.

“I am so sorry, sister. She is with another person. She is not just ours alone. I am sorry.” To be strong and a calm sister was the last thing I could do. Her whimper was louder; she hit my shoulders and shouted beside my ears.

“Why? Why sister? She is still our mother.” Louder and louder.

At this moment, the story grandmother told me when I was a kid rushed to my mind. Her sad reminiscing eyes when she said “what a fool”, I remember. Now with the similar situation, mother and her sister experienced. I could not more disagree with grandmother. What a fool I was. What a fool her two daughters. What a fool.

Photo by Lulu Lailiyah

Pulau Mandeh (Mandeh Island): A Memoir

Syarifah Aini180410160096

My family and I decided to go on a holiday back then in December 2017. We did a research for an exciting place in our hometown, Padang. Then one of my relatives said, he knew one place and that it was nice. It was an island called Pulau Mandeh. We went there with other family members, there were 3 cars. The more people came, the more fun it was.

The road we had to take to get there was bad. Big rocks cover most of the way. The struggle was real. But it was all worth it. After we arrived, we were welcome by the enchanting view of this island. Though it was so hot, we did not care. We could already felt the excitement by just looking at the view of the island. We could not wait any longer to jump into the water, so after we took many picture, the tour guide took us to a stand where we could get our equipment ready.

There were several small islands there that were included in the package trip we took. The first island was Pulau Setan. In this island, we could enjoy the banana boats and other entertainment stuff. I could not forget how my father forced the mothers to take turn. They did under one condition. My brother and I had to come with them to make sure everything’s alright and that the tour-guide did not flip the banana boat in the middle of the island (because actually that was how it worked). The tour guide said yes to them but there was my father, asked the tour guide to do exactly the opposite. After several turns in the water, the tour guide did flip the banana boat and the mothers did not prepare anything. They screamed and pulled my brother and I to hold on for dear life. They were so scared they screamed “Astaghfirullah! Ya Allah! Rifa! RIfqi!”. The rest of the family on the seashore laughed so hard seeing them suffer. It was so funny. They hated my father after the accident.

Next we moved to the second island. I could not remember the name but it was also terrific. On this island, there were these tall and huge rocks that we supposed to jump from up there to the water. I was thinking that I would never ever do that in my life but after seeing my brother jumped, I thought “it could be fun to try” besides, I came here all the way from Bekasi, it would be a waste if I did not try. So with all the power I had, I climbed the rock, it was 4 meters tall, and prepared myself to jump. The tour guide was standing beside me and encouraging me saying that it was okay and safe, he said he would jump with me if I want. So with everything I had in me, I jumped. All I could think of was “When will I touch the water? Why does it take so long?!”. When I did touch the water, sunk in so deep and finally came back to the surface, I grinned really big. I was completely FUN. But that was it. I said to myself that it was my first and last time. Unlike me, my brother did not stop there. He wanted to jump again but this time, the rock was 8 meters long. He was brave. After he jumped, he said “it was nothing” and that wowed me.

The last day we stayed in that island, we spent the rest of the evening enjoying the beach that lied in front of our very eyes. Watching the sunset with the whole family was a rare thing since the adults were all busy with their own things. It was beautiful. When the night finally came, we were served by the local people there. They cooked us some rare menu they invented themselves. We were surprised when the food came. There was this one meal I liked the most, it was Rendang Cumi. Where would you find this kind of menu, Rendang Cumi, other than here?? And it was so good! You could really felt the squid and not smelt fishy at all. I still even remember the taste until now. We ate the dinner near the beach. It was peaceful. We were eating the rare dishes while listening to the sound of the waves rumbling through the night. I embraced the moment by taking pictures of us laughing while showing off the rare dishes. The last but not least that happened that night was a storm. While we were enjoying the beach and the togetherness, suddenly there was this huge bang on the roof above us, not so long after that, a thunderbolt followed. That scared us. Turned out, the huge bang was a coconut tree trunk that was striked by the thunderbolt. After that, a heavy rain poured the island and we were stuck in the gazebo. After we waited for like 15 minutes, it was becoming heavier, and that when we realized it was not just a heavy rain, it was a storm. We saw people’s clothes flying from the string where they hung them, many tree trunk fell to the ground. We could not even go in to the house because it was that bad. We waited for almost an hour until it was less heavy and hurry went inside the house. It ended there. We all went to sleep with a happy, full tummy and a little worry mind about the storm as if it was about to come again. Alhamdulillah, it did not. The locals then said that it was a normal thing to happen since the place was literally near the beach so the weather sometimes could be bad and some other times it was all good. After that being said, we considered what happened last night was one of our unforgettable moments while spending time there.

To wrap it all, while spending 3 days there in Pulau Mandeh, all I felt was happy. I was happy to have the chance to spend 3 days full of joy with my big family. Because, with all the business they have, it is so hard to find the time to go holiday like that again. That is why I decided to make this into a memoir because this is a memory I will always remember. The banana boats and the screaming mothers, the rock I jumped from, the rare but good Rendang Cumi, the storm, they were all unforgettable.

Photo by; My Father